General Policy. Hendrix
College is committed to
high standards of honesty and fairness in academic pursuits. Such standards are
central to the process of intellectual inquiry, the development of character,
and the preservation of integrity of the community. Accordingly, in keeping
with this mission the Hendrix
College seeks to maintain
an atmosphere of integrity in research activities pursued by the community of
its learners. Such an atmosphere in research endeavors is built on a commitment
to some important shared values for the responsible conduct of research, such
as, honesty, accuracy, efficiency, and objectivity. Hendrix College
strictly adheres to this philosophy, and has an infrastructure in place to
prevent misconduct in research and to support good faith whistleblowers.
Scope. This policy and the associated procedures
apply to all individuals at Hendrix
College engaged in
research that is supported by or for which support is requested from PHS. The PHS regulation at 42 C.F.R. Part 50,
Subpart A applies to any research, research-training or research-related grant
or cooperative agreement with PHS. This
policy applies to any person paid by, under the control of, or affiliated with
the institution, such as scientists, trainees, technicians and other staff
members, students, fellows, guest researchers, or collaborators at Hendrix College.
For research and scholarly activity not falling under PHS guidelines, research integrity is expected to be followed as described in the General Policy. Cases of misconduct in non-PHS supported projects should also be reported to the Academic Integrity Officer of Hendrix College. If the Academic Integrity Officer finds sufficient evidence of misconduct, the procedures outlined in Parts V-VIII described below will be initiated.
Cases of Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) and/or Human Subjects Research Board (HSRB) violations are also forwarded to the Academic Integrity Officer, who then determines if these violations constitute research integrity misconduct.
The policy and associated procedures are normally followed when an allegation of possible misconduct in science is received by an
institutional official. Particular
circumstances in an individual case may dictate variation from the normal
procedure deemed in the best interests of Hendrix College
and PHS. Any change from normal
procedures also must ensure fair treatment to the subject of the inquiry or
investigation. Any significant variation
should be approved in advance by the Research Integrity Officer of Hendrix College.
any written or oral statement or other indication of possible scientific
misconduct made to an institutional official.
Conflict of interest
means the real or apparent interference of one person's interests with the
interests of another person, where potential bias may occur due to prior or
existing personal or professional relationships.
means the institutional official who makes final determinations on allegations
of scientific misconduct and any responsive institutional actions. The Deciding Official is not the same
individual as the Research Integrity Officer and should have no direct prior
involvement in the institution's inquiry, investigation, or allegation
Good faith allegation
means an allegation made with the honest belief that scientific misconduct may
have occurred. An allegation is not in
good faith if it is made with reckless disregard for or willful ignorance of
facts that would disprove the allegation.
gathering information and initial fact-finding to determine whether an
allegation or apparent instance of scientific misconduct warrants an
the formal examination and evaluation of all relevant facts to determine if
misconduct has occurred, and, if so, to determine the responsible person and
the seriousness of the misconduct.
ORI means the
Office of Research Integrity, the office within the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services (DHHS) that is responsible for the scientific misconduct and
research integrity activities of the U.S. Public Health Service.
PHS means the U.S.
Public Health Service, an operating component of the DHHS.
means the Public Health Service regulation establishing standards for
institutional inquiries and investigations into allegations of scientific
misconduct, which is set forth at 42 C.F.R. Part 50, Subpart A, entitled
"Responsibility of PHS Awardee and Applicant Institutions for Dealing With
and Reporting Possible Misconduct in Science."
PHS support means
PHS grants, contracts, or cooperative agreements or applications therefore.
Officer means the institutional official responsible for assessing
allegations of scientific misconduct and determining when such allegations
warrant inquiries and for overseeing inquiries and investigations.
means any data, document, computer file, computer diskette, or any other
written or non-written account or object that reasonably may be expected to
provide evidence or information regarding the proposed, conducted, or reported
research that constitutes the subject of an allegation of scientific
misconduct. A research record includes,
but is not limited to, grant or contract applications, whether funded or
unfunded; grant or contract progress and other reports; laboratory notebooks;
notes; correspondence; videos; photographs; X-ray film; slides; biological
materials; computer files and printouts; manuscripts and publications;
equipment use logs; laboratory procurement records; animal facility records;
human and animal subject protocols; consent forms; medical charts; and patient
the person against whom an allegation of scientific misconduct is directed or
the person whose actions are the subject of the inquiry or investigation. There can be more than one respondent in any
inquiry or investigation.
any action that adversely affects the employment or other institutional status
of an individual that is taken by an institution or an employee because the
individual has in good faith, made an allegation of scientific misconduct or of
inadequate institutional response thereto or has cooperated in good faith with
an investigation of such allegation.
or misconduct in science means fabrication, falsification, plagiarism, or
other practices that seriously deviate from those that are commonly accepted
within the scientific community for proposing, conducting, or reporting
research. It does not include honest
error or honest differences in interpretations or judgments of data.
a person who makes an allegation of scientific misconduct.
III. Rights and Responsibilities.
Officer. The Natural Sciences Area
Chair of Hendrix College serves as the Research Integrity Officer and has primary responsibility for implementation of the procedures set forth in
this document. The Research Integrity
Officer is an institutional official who is well qualified to handle the
procedural requirements involved and is sensitive to the varied demands made on
those who conduct research, those who are accused of misconduct, and those who
report apparent misconduct in good faith.
The Research Integrity Officer appoints the inquiry and
investigation committees and ensures that necessary and appropriate expertise is
secured to carry out a thorough and authoritative evaluation of the relevant
evidence in an inquiry or investigation.
The Research Integrity Officer attempts to ensure that
confidentiality is maintained.
The Research Integrity Officer assists inquiry and investigation
committees and all institutional personnel in complying with these procedures
and with applicable standards imposed by government or external funding
sources. The Research Integrity Officer
is also responsible for maintaining files of all documents and evidence and for
the confidentiality and the security of the files.
Deciding Official. The Deciding Official, the Provost of Hendrix
College, will report to ORI as
required by regulation and keep ORI apprised of any developments during the
course of the inquiry or investigation that may affect current or potential
DHHS funding for the individual(s) under investigation or that PHS needs to
know to ensure appropriate use of federal funds and otherwise protect the
Whistleblower. The whistleblower has an opportunity to
testify before the inquiry and investigation committees, to review portions of
the inquiry and investigation reports pertinent to his/her allegations or
testimony, to be informed of the results of the inquiry and investigation, and
to be protected from retaliation. Also,
if the Research Integrity Officer has determined that the whistleblower may be
able to provide pertinent information on any portions of the draft report,
these portions are given to the whistleblower for comment.
The whistleblower is responsible for making allegations in
good faith, maintaining confidentiality, and cooperating with an inquiry or
Respondent. The respondent is informed of the
allegations when an inquiry is opened and notified in writing of the final
determinations and resulting actions.
The respondent also has the opportunity to be interviewed by and
present evidence to the inquiry and investigation committees, to review the
draft inquiry and investigation reports, and to have the advice of counsel.
The respondent is responsible for maintaining confidentiality
and cooperating with the conduct of an inquiry or investigation. If the respondent is not found guilty of
scientific misconduct, the respondent has the right to receive institutional
assistance in restoring his or her reputation.
Official. The Deciding Official receives the inquiry and/or investigation report and any written comments made
by the respondent or the whistleblower on the draft report. The Deciding Official consults with the
Research Integrity Officer or other appropriate officials and determines whether to conduct an investigation, whether misconduct occurred, whether to
impose sanctions, or whether to take other appropriate administrative actions
[see section X].
IV. General Policies and Principles.
Report Misconduct. All employees or
individuals associated with Hendrix
College should report
observed, suspected, or apparent misconduct in science to the Research
Integrity Officer. If an individual is
unsure whether a suspected incident falls within the definition of scientific
misconduct, the individual may call the Research Integrity Officer to discuss the
suspected misconduct informally. If the
circumstances described by the individual do not meet the definition of
scientific misconduct, the Research Integrity Officer refers the individual
or allegation to other offices or officials with responsibility for resolving
At any time, an employee may have confidential discussions
and consultations about concerns of possible misconduct with the Research
Integrity Officer, and is counseled about appropriate procedures for
Whistleblower. The Research Integrity
Officer monitors the treatment of individuals who bring allegations of
misconduct or of inadequate institutional response thereto, and those who
cooperate in inquiries or investigations.
The Research Integrity Officer ensures that these persons are not
retaliated against in the terms and conditions of their employment or other
status at the institution and reviews instances of alleged retaliation for
Employees should immediately report any alleged or apparent
retaliation to the Research Integrity Officer.
Also the institution protects the privacy of those who
report misconduct in good faith[i]
to the maximum extent possible. For
example, if the whistleblower requests anonymity, the institution makes an
effort to honor the request during the allegation assessment or inquiry within
applicable policies and regulations and state and local laws, if any. The whistleblower is advised that if the
matter is referred to an investigation committee and the whistleblower's
testimony is required, anonymity may no longer be guaranteed. Institutions are required to undertake
diligent efforts to protect the positions and reputations of those persons who,
in good faith, make allegations.
Respondent. Inquiries and
investigations are conducted in a manner that ensures fair treatment to
the respondent(s) in the inquiry or investigation and confidentiality to the
extent possible without compromising public health and safety or thoroughly
carrying out the inquiry or investigation.
Institutional employees accused of scientific misconduct may
consult with legal counsel or a non-lawyer personal adviser (who is not a
principal or witness in the case) to seek advice and may bring the counsel or
personal adviser to interviews or meetings on the case.
Inquiries and Investigations.
Institutional employees cooperate with the Research Integrity
Officer and other institutional officials in the review of allegations and the
conduct of inquiries and investigations.
Employees have an obligation to provide relevant evidence to the
Research Integrity Officer or other institutional officials on misconduct
of Allegations. Upon receiving an
allegation of scientific misconduct, the Research Integrity Officer immediately assesses the allegation to determine whether there is sufficient
evidence to warrant an inquiry, whether PHS support or PHS applications for
funding are involved, and whether the allegation falls under the PHS definition
of scientific misconduct.
V. Conducting the Inquiry.
Initiation and Purpose
of the Inquiry. Following the
preliminary assessment, if the Research Integrity Officer determines that the
allegation provides sufficient information to allow specific follow-up,
involves PHS support, and falls under the PHS definition of scientific
misconduct, the Research Integrity Officer immediately initiates the inquiry process. In initiating the inquiry, the Research
Integrity Officer should identify clearly the original allegation and any
related issues that should be evaluated.
The purpose of the inquiry is to make a preliminary evaluation of the
available evidence and testimony of the respondent, whistleblower, and key witnesses
to determine whether there is sufficient evidence of possible scientific
misconduct to warrant an investigation.
The purpose of the inquiry is not to reach a final conclusion about
whether misconduct definitely occurred or who was responsible. The findings of the inquiry must be set forth
in an inquiry report.
Sequestration of the
Research Records. After determining
that an allegation falls within the definition of misconduct in science and
involves PHS funding, the Research Integrity Officer must ensure that all
original research records and materials relevant to the allegation are
immediately secured. The Research
Integrity Officer may consult with ORI for advice and assistance in this
Appointment of the
Inquiry Committee. The Research
Integrity Officer, in consultation with other institutional officials as
appropriate, appoints an inquiry committee and committee chair within 10
days of the initiation of the inquiry.
The inquiry committee consists of individuals who do not have real
or apparent conflicts of interest in the case, are unbiased, and have the
necessary expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues related to the
allegation, interview the principals and key witnesses, and conduct the
inquiry. These individuals may be
scientists, subject matter experts, administrators, lawyers, or other qualified
persons, and they may be from inside or outside the institution.
The Research Integrity Officer notifies the respondent of
the proposed committee membership in 10 days.
If the respondent submits a written objection to any appointed member of
the inquiry committee or expert based on bias or conflict of interest within 5
days, the Research Integrity Officer determines whether to replace the
challenged member or expert with a qualified substitute.
Charge to the
Committee and the First Meeting. The
Research Integrity Officer prepares a charge for the inquiry committee that
describes the allegations and any related issues identified during the
allegation assessment and states that the purpose of the inquiry is to make a
preliminary evaluation of the evidence and testimony of the respondent,
whistleblower, and key witnesses to determine whether there is sufficient
evidence of possible scientific misconduct to warrant an investigation as
required by the PHS regulation. The
purpose is not to determine whether scientific misconduct definitely occurred
or who was responsible.
At the committee's first meeting, the Research Integrity
Officer reviews the charge with the committee, discusses the allegations, any
related issues, and the appropriate procedures for conducting the inquiry,
assists the committee with organizing plans for the inquiry, and answers any
questions raised by the committee. The
Research Integrity Officer and institutional counsel are present or
available throughout the inquiry to advise the committee as needed.
Inquiry Process. The inquiry committee normally interviews the whistleblower, the respondent, and key witnesses as well as examining
relevant research records and materials.
Then the inquiry committee evaluates the evidence and testimony
obtained during the inquiry. After
consultation with the Research Integrity Officer and institutional counsel, the
committee members decide whether there is sufficient evidence of possible
scientific misconduct to recommend further investigation. The scope of the inquiry does not include
deciding whether misconduct occurred or conducting exhaustive interviews and
VI. The Inquiry Report.
Elements of the
Inquiry Report. A written inquiry
report must be prepared that states the name and title of the committee members
and experts, if any; the allegations; the PHS support; a summary of the inquiry
process used; a list of the research records reviewed; summaries of any interviews;
a description of the evidence in sufficient detail to demonstrate whether and
investigation is warranted or not; and the committee's determination as to
whether an investigation is recommended and whether any other actions should be
taken if an investigation is not recommended.
Institutional counsel will review the report for legal sufficiency.
Comments on the Draft
Report by the Respondent and the Whistleblower. The Research Integrity Officer provides the respondent with a copy of the draft inquiry report for comment and rebuttal
and provides the whistleblower, if he or she is identifiable, with a
summary of the inquiry findings for comment.
- Confidentiality. The Research Integrity Officer may establish
reasonable conditions for review to protect the confidentiality of the draft
of Comments. Within 14 calendar days
of their receipt of the draft report, the whistleblower and respondent provide their comments, if any, to the inquiry committee. Any comments that the whistleblower or
respondent submits on the draft report become part of the final inquiry
report and record. Based on the comments, the inquiry committee may revise the
report as appropriate.
Inquiry Decision and
by Deciding Official. The Research
Integrity Officer transmits the final report and any comments to the
Deciding Official, who makes the determination of whether findings from the
inquiry provide sufficient evidence of possible scientific misconduct to
justify conducting an investigation. The
inquiry is completed when the Deciding Official makes this determination, which is made within 60 days of the first meeting of the inquiry committee. Any extension of this period is based on
good cause and recorded in the inquiry file.
- Notification. The Research Integrity Officer
notifies both the respondent and the whistleblower in writing of the Deciding
Official's decision of whether to proceed to an investigation and reminds them of their obligation to cooperate in the event an investigation is
opened. The Research Integrity Officer also notifies all appropriate institutional officials of the Deciding
Time Limit for
Completing the Inquiry Report. The
inquiry committee normally completes the inquiry and submit its report in
writing to the Research Integrity Officer no more than 60 calendar days
following its first meeting, unless the Research Integrity Officer approves an
extension for good cause. If the
Research Integrity Officer approves an extension, the reason for the extension is entered into the records of the case and the report. The respondent is also notified of the extension.
VII. Conducting the Investigation
Purpose of the
Investigation. The purpose of the investigation
is to explore in detail the allegations, to examine the evidence in depth, and
to determine specifically whether misconduct has been committed, by whom, and
to what extent. The investigation also determines whether there are additional instances of possible misconduct
that would justify broadening the scope beyond the initial allegations. This is particularly important where the
alleged misconduct involves clinical trials or potential harm to human subjects
or the general public or if it affects research that forms the basis for public
policy, clinical practice, or public health practice. The findings of the investigation are set
forth in an investigation report.
Sequestration of the
Research Records. The Research
Integrity Officer immediately sequesters any additional pertinent research
records that were not previously sequestered during the inquiry. This sequestration should occur before or at
the time the respondent is notified that an investigation has begun. The need for additional sequestration of
records may occur for any number of reasons, including the institution's
decision to investigate additional allegations not considered during the
inquiry stage or the identification of records during the inquiry process that
had not been previously secured. The
procedures to be followed for sequestration during the investigation are the
same procedures that apply during the inquiry.
Appointment of the
Investigation Committee. The
Research Integrity Officer, in consultation with other institutional officials
as appropriate, appoints an investigation committee and the committee chair
within 10 days of the notification to the respondent that an investigation is
planned or as soon thereafter as practicable.
The investigation committee should consist of at least three individuals
who do not have real or apparent conflicts of interest in the case, are
unbiased, and have the necessary expertise to evaluate the evidence and issues
related to the allegations, interview the principals and key witnesses, and
conduct the investigation. These
individuals may be scientists, administrators, subject matter experts, lawyers,
or other qualified persons, and they may be from inside or outside the
institution. Individuals appointed to
the investigation committee may also have served on the inquiry committee.
The Research Integrity Officer notifies the respondent of
the proposed committee membership within 5 days. If the respondent submits a written objection
to any appointed member of the investigation committee or expert, the Research
Integrity Officer determines whether to replace the challenged member or
expert with a qualified substitute.
Charge to the
Committee and the First Meeting.
- Charge to
the Committee. The Research Integrity
Officer defines the subject matter of the investigation in a written charge
to the committee that describes the allegations and related issues identified
during the inquiry, defines scientific misconduct, and identifies the name of
the respondent. The charge states that the committee is to evaluate the evidence and testimony of the respondent,
whistleblower, and key witnesses to determine whether, based on a preponderance
of the evidence, scientific misconduct occurred and, if so, to what extent, who
was responsible, and its seriousness.
During the investigation, if additional information becomes available
that substantially changes the subject matter of the investigation or would
suggest additional respondents, the committee notifies the Research
Integrity Officer, who determines whether it is necessary to notify the
respondent of the new subject matter or to provide notice to additional
- The First
Meeting. The Research Integrity
Officer, with the assistance of institutional counsel, convenes the first
meeting of the investigation committee to review the charge, the inquiry
report, and the prescribed procedures and standards for the conduct of the
investigation, including the necessity for confidentiality and for developing a
specific investigation plan. The
investigation committee is provided with a copy of these instructions and,
where PHS funding is involved, the PHS regulation.
Process. The investigation committee is appointed and the process initiated within 30 days of the completion of
the inquiry, if findings from that inquiry provide a sufficient basis for
conducting an investigation.
The investigation normally involves examination of all
documentation including, but not necessarily limited to, relevant research
records, computer files, proposals, manuscripts, publications, correspondence,
memoranda, and notes of telephone calls. Whenever possible, the committee
should interview the whistleblower(s), the respondents(s), and other individuals
who might have information regarding aspects of the allegations. Interviews of
the respondent should be tape recorded or transcribed. All other interviews should be transcribed,
tape recorded, or summarized. Summaries or transcripts of the interviews should
be prepared, provided to the interviewed party for comment or revision, and
included as part of the investigatory file.
VIII. The Investigation Report
Elements of the
Investigation Report. The final
report submitted to ORI must describe the policies and procedures under which
the investigation was conducted, describe how and from whom information
relevant to the investigation was obtained, state the findings, and explain the
basis for the findings. The report includes the actual text or an accurate summary of the views of any
individual(s) found to have engaged in misconduct as well as a description of
any sanctions imposed and administrative actions taken by the institution.
Comments on the Draft
- Respondent. The Research Integrity Officer provides the respondent with a copy of the draft investigation report for comment and
rebuttal. The respondent is allowed
30 days to review and comment on the draft report. The respondent's comments are attached to
the final report. The findings of the
final report should take into account the respondent's comments in addition to
all the other evidence.
- Whistleblower. The Research Integrity Officer provides the whistleblower, if identifiable, with those portions of
the draft investigation report that address the whistleblower's role and
opinions in the investigation. The
report should be modified, as appropriate, based on the whistleblower's
Counsel. The draft investigation
report is transmitted to the institutional counsel for a review of its
legal sufficiency. Comments should be
incorporated into the report as appropriate.
- Confidentiality. In distributing the draft report, or portions
thereof, to the respondent and whistleblower, the Research Integrity Officer
informs the recipient of the confidentiality under which the draft report
is made available and may establish reasonable conditions to ensure such
confidentiality. For example, the Research
Integrity Officer may request the recipient to sign a confidentiality statement
or to come to his or her office to review the report.
and Decision. Based on a
preponderance of the evidence, the Deciding Official makes the final
determination whether to accept the investigation report, its findings, and the
recommended institutional actions. If
this determination varies from that of the investigation committee, the
Deciding Official explains in detail the basis for rendering a decision
different from that of the investigation committee in the institution's letter
transmitting the report to ORI. The
Deciding Official's explanation should be consistent with the PHS definition of
scientific misconduct, the institution's policies and procedures, and the
evidence reviewed and analyzed by the investigation committee. The Deciding Official may also return the
report to the investigation committee with a request for further fact-finding
or analysis. The Deciding Official's
determination, together with the investigation committee's report, constitutes
the final investigation report for purposes of ORI review.
When a final decision on the case has been reached, the
Research Integrity Officer notifies both the respondent and the
whistleblower in writing. In addition, the
Deciding Official determines whether law enforcement agencies, professional
societies, professional licensing boards, editors of journals in which
falsified reports may have been published, collaborators of the respondent in
the work, or other relevant parties should be notified of the outcome of the
case. The Research Integrity Officer is
responsible for ensuring compliance with all notification requirements of
funding or sponsoring agencies.
Transmittal of the
Final Investigation Report to ORID. After
comments have been received and the necessary changes have been made to the
draft report, the investigation committee should transmit the final report with
attachments, including the respondent's and whistleblower's comments, to the
Deciding Official, through the Research Integrity Officer.
Time Limit for
Completing the Investigation Report. An
investigation should ordinarily be completed within 120 days of its initiation,
with the initiation being defined as the first meeting of the investigation committee. This includes conducting the investigation,
preparing the report of findings, making the draft report available to the
subject of the investigation for comment, submitting the report to the Deciding
Official for approval, and submitting the report to the ORI.
IX. Requirements for Reporting to ORI
An institution's decision to initiate an investigation must
be reported in writing to the Director, ORI, on or before the date the
investigation begins. At a minimum, the notification should include the name of
the person(s) against whom the allegations have been made, the general nature
of the allegation as it relates to the PHS definition of scientific misconduct,
and the PHS applications or grant number(s) involved. ORI must also be notified
of the final outcome of the investigation and must be provided with a copy of
the investigation report. Any significant variations from the provisions of the
institutional policies and procedures should be explained in any reports
submitted to ORI.
If an institution plans to terminate an inquiry or
investigation for any reason without completing all relevant requirements of
the PHS regulation, the Research Integrity Officer submits a report of the
planned termination to ORI, including a description of the reasons for the
If the institution determines that it will not be able to
complete the investigation in 120 days, the Research Integrity Officer submits to ORI a written request for an extension that explains the delay,
reports on the progress to date, estimates the date of completion of the
report, and describes other necessary steps to be taken. If the request is granted, the Research
Integrity Officer files periodic progress reports as requested by the ORI.
When PHS funding or applications for funding are involved and
an admission of scientific misconduct is made, the Research Integrity Officer
contacts ORI for consultation and advice.
Normally, the individual making the admission is asked to sign a
statement attesting to the occurrence and extent of misconduct. When the case involves PHS funds, the
institution cannot accept an admission of scientific misconduct as a basis for
closing a case or not undertaking an investigation without prior approval from
The Research Integrity Officer notifies ORI at any stage
of the inquiry or investigation if:
- there is an immediate health hazard involved;
- there is an immediate need to protect Federal
funds or equipment;
- there is an immediate need to protect the
interests of the person(s) making the allegations or of the individual(s) who
is the subject of the allegations as well as any co-investigators and
associates, if any;
- it is probable that the alleged incident is
going to be reported publicly; or
- the allegation involves a public health
sensitive issue, e.g., a clinical
- there is a reasonable indication of possible
criminal violation. In this instance,
the institution must inform ORI within 24 hours of obtaining that information.
X. Institutional Administrative Actions
College takes appropriate administrative actions against individuals when an allegation of
misconduct has been substantiated.
If the Deciding Official determines that the alleged
misconduct is substantiated by the findings, the officer decides on the
appropriate actions to be taken, after consultation with the Research Integrity
Officer. The actions may include:
- withdrawal or correction of all pending or
published abstracts and papers emanating from the research where scientific misconduct
- removal of the responsible person from the
particular project, letter of reprimand, special monitoring of future work,
probation, suspension, salary reduction, or initiation of steps leading to
possible rank reduction or termination of employment;
- restitution of funds as appropriate.
XI. Other Considerations
Institutional Employment or Resignation Prior to Completing Inquiry or
Investigation. The termination of
the respondent's institutional employment, by resignation or otherwise, before
or after an allegation of possible scientific misconduct has been reported,
does not preclude or terminate the misconduct procedures.
If the respondent, without admitting to the misconduct,
elects to resign prior to the initiation of an inquiry, but
after an allegation has been reported, or during an inquiry or investigation,
the inquiry or investigation proceeds.
If the respondent refuses to participate in the process after
resignation, the committee uses its best efforts to reach a conclusion
concerning the allegations, noting in its report the respondent's failure to
cooperate and its effect on the committee's review of all the evidence.
Restoration of the
Respondent's Reputation. If the
institution finds no misconduct and ORI concurs, after consulting with the
respondent, the Research Integrity Officer undertakes reasonable efforts to
restore the respondent's reputation.
Depending on the particular circumstances, the Research Integrity
Officer should consider notifying those individuals aware of or involved in the
investigation of the final outcome, publicizing the final outcome in forums in
which the allegation of scientific misconduct was previously publicized, or
expunging all reference to the scientific misconduct allegation from the
respondent's personnel file. Any
institutional actions to restore the respondent's reputation must first be
approved by the Deciding Official.
Protection of the
Whistleblower and Others. Regardless
of whether the institution or ORI determines that scientific misconduct
occurred, the Research Integrity Officer undertakes reasonable efforts to
protect whistleblowers who made allegations of scientific misconduct in good
faith and others who cooperate in good faith with inquiries and investigations
of such allegations. Upon completion of
an investigation, the Deciding Official will determine, after consulting with
the whistleblower, what steps, if any, are needed to restore the position or
reputation of the whistleblower. The
Research Integrity Officer is responsible for implementing any steps the
Deciding Official approves. The Research
Integrity Officer also takes appropriate steps during the inquiry and
investigation to prevent any retaliation against the whistleblower.
Allegations Not Made
in Good Faith. If relevant, the
Deciding Official determines whether the whistleblower's allegations of
scientific misconduct were made in good faith.
If an allegation was not made in good faith, the Deciding Official determines whether any administrative action should be taken against the
Actions. Institutional officials
take interim administrative actions, as appropriate, to protect Federal
funds and ensure that the purposes of the Federal financial assistance are
XII. Record Retention
After completion of a case and all ensuing related actions,
the Research Integrity Officer prepares a complete file, including the
records of any inquiry or investigation and copies of all documents and other
materials furnished to the Research Integrity Officer or committees. The Research Integrity Officer keeps the
file for three years after completion of the case to permit later assessment of
the case. ORI or other authorized DHHS
personnel will be given access to the records upon request.